Almost every condominium, apartment or home has a balcony or deck with railings. I learned of balcony danger after hearing of an unfortunate accident with my friends dog. My friend Debbie, lived in a beautiful home that had a back of house wooden deck. The deck was not high enough to cause injury, if the dog jumped through the railings. She was worried about leaving her dog Sade (a 3 year old Cocker Spaniel) alone on the deck because if she did jump through the railings, Sade would run away because she did not have a fenced yard. So to protect her dog from running away, my friend put a leash on Sade and tied the leash to the deck furniture. In my friends attempt to be a responsible pet owner, she actually did more harm. Sade did try to jump off the balcony and when she jumped through the railings, the leash ended up choking her and Sade died. I am telling you this horrific story because when I heard it I was devastated, for the tragic loss and for my friend and what she must have went through emotionally.
Balcony and deck railings vary greatly in widths, depending upon when the railings were manufactured and installed. Today there are specific widths that are required in order to protect the owners from their human children from falling through. But no measures are made to protect the pet owners. I have seen a lot of different ways people have tried to block the gaps in the railings. I have also tried them all. There is netting, plastic garden fencing and metal fencing. I have also seen inflatable tubes you attach to your dogs neck, which stops your dog from fitting between the railings. The netting is weak and is not very secure. The plastic garden fencing is simply hideous to look at and the metal fencing rusts. I created my own protection for my dogs, and it only took about an hour to install. I went to Home Depot and purchased 20 acrylic sheets, each measuring approximately 12″ x 10″. I also purchased a bag of nylon cable ties. I used my handy Dremel and made holes for the cable ties in each acrylic sheet. Then it was simply attaching the acrylic sheet to the railing and attaching the nylon cable tie. Now, my dogs are protected from falling through the railings and the acrylic sheets are clear, so they basically disappear. Plus, there is no metal so there is no rusting.